Monday, August 30, 2010

It's All In A Theme Song

Theme songs are so important, which is why it's hard to see them go by the wayside.  Right now Spike TV is running a Hawaii Five-0 marathon of the original series. The episode airing right now entitled Tiger By The Tail,  guest stars Sal Mineo as a rock star who fakes his own kidnapping. 

The NY Times reports on the importance of the theme song to draw in younger viewers to the new reworking of the series to air in September.

Mr. Schweitzer explained why so much of the campaign was centered on the theme music, written by Morton Stevens, a CBS executive, and popularized by the instrumental group the Ventures.

Research by CBS found that “70 percent of people over 35 were familiar with ‘Hawaii Five-0,’ while 70 percent of people under 35 were not,” Mr. Schweitzer said. “But of the people not familiar, they knew the song.”

“When we asked what was the expectation for a remake,” he added, “people said, ‘I want to see the crime-fighting, I want to see Hawaii, and play me the song.’ ”

The song was written by Morton Stevens, who was the director of music for CBS West Coast.  It was most famously performed by The Ventures.  But perhaps the greatest and most overlooked version is by Sammy Davis Jr with a new title, You Can Count On Me.    It's groovy. 

Episodes of the original can also be watching on cbs.com

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